“Deer Restricted,” Huh?”

 

I thought my husband wasn’t remembering correctly when he said that his grandfather had to raise his fences from eight to ten feet in order to keep the deer out of his strawberries.

Couldn't build a fence high enough.

Couldn’t build a fence high enough.

He was Albert Morris, who for years raised strawberries in Sweet Valley, PA. I felt doubtful that deer could jump over fences eight feet tall. To me, that seemed awfully high. Then I checked the internet and found that the white tail deer are able to jump not 5, 7, 8 or 12 feet but 15 feet high. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see? The deer, however, prefer to go through, around or under a fence, unless of course they are being chased by a dog or coyote.

Until recent years, I have always loved the white tail deer. Lately, though, there is an overdeer restricted 2abundance of them and I have great difficulty keeping them from destroying my flower gardens. If I were to plant pansies, which I have done many years about this time, the deer grab the plant in their mouths and uproot it completely. Then all through the summer they find nearly all my flowers very tasty, even the rose bushes.

People here have always been impressed with the beauty of the white tail and its swift,

The car I remember was tan color. See the spotlight? on the

The car I remember was tan color. See the spotlight?

running ability. Years ago, they were not so plentiful and my boyfriend and I, (now my husband) would travel the country roads in his 1941 Ford spotting deer. I’m not sure this was legal, but attached to the driver’s side of the Ford was a large, shiny spot light put there for that purpose. To get the light installed a hole was drilled through the corner post of the car. An added twist to this story is the fact that his grandparents, Albert and Maude Morris, gave the spotlight light to him as a high school graduation gift. Many men used the spot lights to search out deer prior to hunting season, but that was not our reason for doing it. It was a challenge to find them feeding in open fields. We stayed away from houses. We didn’t think a spot light illuminating their property would go over very well.

During the summers, as we turn into our driveway, our headlights reveal at least a half deer restricted 3dozen of them out to pasture in our yard. I’ve always marveled at their beauty but lately my love for them has waned and I am sure you know why. Not all deer are infected with ticks, but many are and these ticks transmit Lyme Disease. I read where roughly 20,000 people are affected by the disease. I have heard of many cases and because it is a inflammatory disease it spreads to the joints, nervous system and other organs. If diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics Lyme Disease is almost always readily cured. But I have talked to some who were not fortunate enough to catch it early.

There are many guidelines on how to protect our families from this. But isn’t it shameful that we can no longer trust our children to be safe in public places and now, in our own back yards. Some of the guidelines include avoiding wooded, bushy areas and high grass, do a complete full body check on yourself, children and pets and carry bug spray.

There may be some parts of the country that are less infected and some where the deer restricted 6problem is far greater than here in Pennsylvania. While living there throughout the winter, I saw something of interest in Florida. It was a sign placed at the entrance of a beautiful housing compound. It read. “Deer Restricted.” I wondered how this could be, then noticed the whole development was surrounded with a tall, concrete wall.

To digress a bit here, did you read the story about a wild deer breaking into the lion exhibit at the Smithsonian Park National Zoo? What did the lions do? They did what came naturally. They pursued it until they were called back into their enclosure. They were highly trained lions. The main reason for ending their hunt was because the deer might spread disease to the zoo animals. The lions’ hunt for live prey deer restricted 5ended, but the injured deer couldn’t be saved.

I don’t like ending Shirl And You on a negative note but this subject does not end here. A quick-moving, potentially fatal virus has been found in the Northeast and Great Lakes areas of the U.S. It is carried and transferred to people and pets by ticks. The Powassan virus causes similar symptoms but more severe and without any cure. The disease is quite rare, but doctors are urging people to do everything they can to prevent being infected. Everyone is being encouraged to look up procedures on how to correctly remove ticks and to be on

Just couldn't resist showing you this sign.

Just couldn’t resist showing you this sign.

guard for them. How can the beautiful, harmless creatures of yesteryear become something to fear today? Do you have a story to tell on this subject. I’d love to hear from you.

9 thoughts on ““Deer Restricted,” Huh?”

  1. I lost my dog last fall to lime disease. When he tested positive for limes disease the Vet game e him antibiotics but he still got complications from it and had to put him down. My new dog got a limes disease shot. How come they can not come up with a shot for people?

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  2. I, too, remember the high fences around the strawberry fields to deter the deer. Son Brent checks and/or has someone check for ticks on him whenever he has been out in the brush. He has found a couple on him in the past. I think many people spotlighted for deer in the olden days – I remember it as an occasional evening activity. I put a planter outside the back door, and for the deer it was like having dessert on a platter – they didn’t even have to bend down!

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    • Thanks for the wonderful comments, Linda. In stead of going to the movies, we’d go spotlighting.:) Today we can’t be to careful after being outdoors. Even though, that’s a sad commentary, it’s the way it is. You’re making it just too handy for the deer. I know what you are talking about. I’ve experienced the same thing.

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  3. If I hadn’t saw it for myself, I probably would have never believed that deer can jump more than 10 feet high!! This past December I participated in the Great Christmas Bird Count and we helped out the Atlantic Audubon Society with our participation. While counting and photographing birds, I watched and photographed a deer as it leaped over a 12′ high fence and fell to the other side. (I posted these pictures on my facebook page, in December, 2014). We have lots of deer here, too, and they are a road hazard. My son hit 2 of them with his car, during the winter of 2013. The car would have been totaled, but he fixed it himself. He bought a brand new car last week, so now the deer are even more of a concern. The deer also feed in our yard and they bed down in our backyard. I use “liquid fence” on my plants so that the deer don’t eat them; and it seems to work pretty well.

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    • Hi Colleen: So the deer are even in Whiting, N. J. Of course I knew this. They are everywhere and like you said are a menace on the highway. I, too, have liquid fence and I think it works pretty well, when I remember to use it. Thanks for writing and good luck to Dom with his new car.

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  4. We don’t get the deer like you do. I’ll take some of them and squirrels for the farmlands. 😊 Not sure I would know what to do if I saw a deer so close to my house. Can’t believe they eat right from your flower beds.
    David went hunting everyday last year and was unable to get any. Our freezer is about empty and I love deer sausage. Kinda crazy being I didn’t grow up eating it, huh?

    I’m sad to say that I know nothing about the great great grandparents that you mentioned. Do you have any photographs of them?

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    • Hi Yvonne: What a delight hearing from you. I can’t imagine that there are no deer in your area. Being a Sweet Valley girl, I’m sure you remember them from here. I loved hearing from you. We are going to start copying photos so you will learn who your ancestors were. Love you.

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  5. It’s fine to spot deer…as long as you don’t have a gun in the car. Always a daily routine to check hair…bods…and animals for ticks where I live…just below Allentown. I don’t ever remember ticks in Sweet Valley. We remove then with alcohol or tea tree oil. We have piebald deer along with the regular ones. They are patchwork colored and not quite albino…as they don’t have pink eyes

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